I've seen comparisons that seem to show that when you balance gas usage against the energy required to build, recharge, and then dispose of the components of a hybrid car, it's kind of a wash. I've seen reports that show that "green" laundry detergents do break down easier in wastewater -- because all of the bad stuff ends up in runoff during the manufacturing process.
With that in mind, I'd like to present some real ideas for going green.
1. The bottomless 2 liter soda bottle.
Here's how it works. First, you sew a pocket into the inside of a lightweight jacket that perfectly accommodates a 2 liter soda bottle. You attach a piece of rubber tubing to the bottle. You go into your nearest fast food restaurant that has a self-serve soda fountain. Order just a drink!
Deftly, poke a hole in the bottom of the cup they give you and shove the plastic tube up through it. Fill your 2 liter bottle. Never throw away your bottle. Just keep refilling it. For extra points, instead of throwing away the cup, give it to a street musician to use for collecting donations!
2. Piggy-Back GPS.
It seems to me that it would be a fairly simple task to modify your in-car GPS to hack into the other GPS systems on the road. You drive only as far as the nearest major road and then pull over. You'd program in the destination you want to go to and your GPS would ping all of the other GPS systems nearby and point out to you a car headed close to your destination. Then, you snag a ride!
Yup, as the target car passes you, you shoot the grappling hook onto its rear bumper and let the unsuspecting sap tow you where you're going. Just release the hook when he passes the nearest point to your destination and drive the rest of the way on your own power. I'm betting you could easily triple your current mileage figures.
3. Everyone needs to do their fair share.
I bet people get after you about leaving lights turned on at home. But why should you have to sit in the dark? Pick some neighborhood you don't spend much time in and use a BB gun to shoot out their street lights. Turn enough of those suckers off to offset any amount of electricity you may wish to use at home. To really take advantage of additional savings, run a line from your neighbor's meter into your electrical mains. Not only will you decrease overall power usage in your town, you'll see an immediate savings on your own utility bills.
These are just three sure-fire, practical ways you can help save the environment. Does anybody else have any bright ideas?
Sadly, that last one is not very far off from what big corps are actually doing by trading in carbon shares. (Or whatever it's called.) The basic idea is that each company gets an allotment of carbon footprint, and if they want to use up more, they have to buy some of someone else's.
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